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The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin

About the Author

Michele Elam

Michele Elam, Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Professor of English, and currently Director of Stanford University's interdisciplinary graduate program, Modern Thought and Literature (MTL). She is an affiliate with the Michelle R. Clayman Insitute for Gender Studies, African & African American Studies, and Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. Elam is the author of Race, Work, and Desire in American Literature, 1860-1930 (Cambridge University Press, 2003), The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium (Stanford University Press, 2011), and is Editor of the Cambridge Companion to James...

Cambridge University Press
2015

This Companion offers fresh insight into the art and politics of James Baldwin, one of the most important writers and provocative cultural critics of the twentieth century. Black, gay, and gifted, he was hailed as a “spokesman for the race,” although he personally, and controversially, eschewed titles and classifications of all kinds. Individual essays examine his classic novels and nonfiction as well as his work across lesser-examined domains: poetry, music, theatre, sermon, photo-text, children's literature, public media, comedy, and artistic collaboration. In doing so, The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin captures the power and influence of his work during the civil rights era as well as his relevance in the “post-race” transnational twenty-first century, when his prescient questioning of the boundaries of race, sex, love, leadership, and country assume new urgency.